English Proficiency Testing

Applicants to the UNBC MBA program must be able to speak, write and understand English well in order to be successful in the UNBC MBA program. Applicants whose first language is​ not English, regardless of citizenship or country of origin, must submit evidence of English proficiency prior to admission. This may be in the form of any one of the following:


English pro​ficiency scores older than two years are not valid for admission purposes.

The test score must be transmitted to UNBC directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The UNBC education code is 0320.

Please visit the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website for more information.


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL) measures the ability of nonnative speakers to use and understand English. The TOEFL test measures English language proficiency in reading, listening, and writing and is offered on computer in most regions of the world. In areas where access to computer-based testing is limited, a paper-and-pencil version of the test is administered.

The computer-based TOEFL test is offered at institutional sites such as colleges and universities, and at testing centers operated by Prometric, a division of Thomson Learning.

The computer-based TOEFL test has four sections:

  • Listening measures the ability to understand English as it is spoken in North America.
  • Structure measures the ability to recognize language that is appropriate for standard written English.
  • Reading measures the ability to understand short passages that are similar in topic and style to academic texts used in North American colleges and universities.
  • Writing measures the ability to write in English on an assigned topic.

The paper-based test has three sections:

  • Listening Comprehension measures the ability to understand spoken English.
  • Structure and Written Expression measures the ability to recognize standard written English.
  • Reading Comprehension measures the ability to read and understand nontechnical material.

The paper-based TOEFL test takes about 3.5 hours to complete.

The Test of Written English (TWE®) is also required for everyone taking the paper-based test. Test takers are given 30 minutes to write a short essay on an assigned topic. The essay is evaluated on the test taker's ability to support and organize new ideas and to use standard written English. Special knowledge of the topic is not needed to write the essay.

Required score: at least 570 in paper-based test and at least 88 in computer-based test.

The UNBC institutional TOEFL code is 0320.


International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication.

IELTS covers all four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and is offered in two test formats - Academic and General Training.  All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules and there is an option of either Academic or General Training Reading and Writing Modules. Academic is suitable for candidates planning to undertake higher education study or who are seeking professional registration.  General Training is suitable for candidates planning to undertake non-academic training or work experience, or for immigration purposes. Applicants to the UNBC MBA program should select the Academic test format.

The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing - must be completed in one day.  The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules.

Total Test Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Required score: at least 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any of the four modules.


Language Proficiency Index (LPI)

The purpose of the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) is to provide information about an individual's competency in English.

The test consists of four parts comprising 80 points: identifying errors in sentence structure (10 points); identifying errors in English usage (10 points); evaluating and/or summarizing short prose passages (20 points); and writing an argumentative essay (40 points).

Required score: 5 or more


English as a Second Language (ESL)

A passing grade from an English as a Second Language (ESL) course at an approved level from a recognized institution can be used when applying to the MBA program.